You Don't Have to Be Mad to Work Here

You Don't Have to Be Mad to Work Here

A Psychiatrist’s Life



A humane, hilarious and heart-breaking window into the world of psychiatry from ‘the Adam Kay of mental healthcare’ (THE TIMES)

'Very funny and deeply sympathetic. Really excellent' HENRY MARSH

'This is honestly my dream book. Both fascinating and bleakly funny' FERN BRADY

‘Honest, funny, saddening and uplifting all rolled into one’ JO BRAND

A woman in a wedding dress arrives at the hospital looking for Harry Styles.

A lorry driver with schizophrenia believes he’s got a cure for coronavirus.

A depressed man hides his profession from his GP due to stigma.

Most of the psychiatric cases in this book are his patients. Some of them are family. One of them is him.

Unlocking the doors to the psych ward, NHS psychiatrist Dr Benji Waterhouse provides a fly-on-the-padded-wall account of medicine’s most mysterious and controversial speciality.

Why would anyone in their right mind choose to be a psychiatrist? Are the solutions to people’s messy lives really within medical school textbooks? And how can vulnerable patients receive the care they need when psychiatry lacks staff, hospital beds and any actual cures?

You Don’t Have to Be Mad to Work Here explores these complicated questions from both sides of the doctor’s desk.

This is the perfect read for fans of This Is Going to Hurt, Unnatural Causes and The Prison Doctor.

Instant Sunday Times bestseller, May 2024


  • Hilarious, shocking and urgent… a deeply compassionate book, which paints a picture of professional dedication in the face of almost unbelievable dysfunction
    The Times, *Book of the Week*

About the author

Benji Waterhouse

Dr Benji Waterhouse is a front-line NHS doctor specialising in psychiatry. He is also an award-winning stand-up comedian who performs sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival. He has written for the Guardian and Independent, and was included in a list of 'Inspiring Psychiatrists’ by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. You Don’t Have to Be Mad to Work Here is his first book.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more